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Old 06-02-2023, 11:34   #1
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Stack pack/Lazy Jack recommendation

I am off to see the Rigger next month and in preparation I must select and purchase a lazy jack system + stack pack bag.

As a freshly minted sailor, I have little experience with this system, but enough to know that I need one

My boat is a Hunter 42 cc Passage of 1993 vintage.

Anyone with same (or similar) please tell me what you use and likes/dislikes.

Thanks!

/m

ps: what happens when a rigger passes away?
Answer: rigger-mortis.
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Old 06-02-2023, 14:00   #2
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Re: Stack pack/Lazy Jack recommendation

Managing the main on the boom at the end of the day is my least favorite part of sailing. It is a completely analog process and getting the stuff to work smoothly takes tuning. My goal is to (1) hoist without a snag, and not have to tune the lazy-jacks and (2) at day's end - turn up into the wind, flip the halyard clutch, and have the main drop like a shot into the bag with no need to go on deck. These are both achievable and worthy goals. I find that good stiff battens at the top of the bag and some support at the after end helps with both. You want to make a large opening at the top, that seals up with the zipper. You probably will need to loosen the lazy-jacks while sailing as tight ones will deform sail shape and make you look like a piker. They typically rig these per-side with a smallish cleat mounted to the mast.

The next task will be zipping and unzipping 15+ foot of zipper, so ask about the quality of the zip and how you will do it. I've always rigged a block at the mast and topping lift to run a line along the bag top for zipping, particularly on a monohull where you cannot just walk the length of the boom at waist level. Think about reaching a foot over your boom standing in the cockpit - how tall are you? With a connecting line, you just pull on the quarter-inch line standing at the mast, and the zipper comes right along in either direction. Mack Sails (https://macksails.com/mack-pack/) makes a boom end bracket for securing the back of the bag and attaching that aft block to that's really neat. Unfortunately, I've heard negative things about their actual Mack Pack canvas quality, but perhaps they have improved in the last decade since I heard those stories.

The other problem I've had with sail bags is their durability. Factors to consider is the quality of canvas (the thicker the cloth the better and accept nothing but sunbrella) and the quality of stitching (must be UV proof). With such setups, you should get better than 5 years without fading or parting seams. Getting the boat name, Hunter logo, or model on the canvas is nice-to-haves that may fit your taste and budget. If you're planning to sell though, the name stitched in means the bag may be worthless to the new owner.
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Old 06-02-2023, 14:11   #3
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Re: Stack pack/Lazy Jack recommendation

Take a look at the Mack Pack from Mack Sails in Stuart, Fl. Have had them installed on both Main and Mizzen for a number of years with good results.

The Mack Sails web site provides a tutorial on measuring for the pack. The packs are made for your boat from your dimensions. The tutorial also shows where the cheek blocks need to be mounted on the mast for the lazy jacks (which come as part of the Mack Pack).
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Old 06-02-2023, 15:04   #4
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Re: Stack pack/Lazy Jack recommendation

I'd also suggest getting Strong Track from Tidewater
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Old 06-02-2023, 18:48   #5
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Re: Stack pack/Lazy Jack recommendation

The Mack Pack looks to be an excellent choice! Thank you all for your ideas and especially John Trusty whose sharing of experience is greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-02-2023, 19:54   #6
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Re: Stack pack/Lazy Jack recommendation

Tides track on the mast of your Hunter helps so much as mentioned above, I have a H410.
You'll learn to deal with the lazy Jack's raising the main, they like catching battens,but they hold up the stack pack and hold the main.
The zippering up.... luckily I'm tall, but still stand on the aft pulpit to start the zippering up. Specific to my boat, yours was cc right.
And the the most annoying problem is the bag and sails filling with rainwater, I tried everything, I cover with a long plastic piece now.
I still love the setup, you may not get any of the issues but you wanted to know some.
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Old 07-02-2023, 06:45   #7
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Re: Stack pack/Lazy Jack recommendation

Tides track is great. I do think it degrades over time from UV so may have a 10 year service life or so- and affordable and easy to replace so no big deal

I found this to be affordable to test the concept on my boat and 5 years in, really like it. Has transformed my experience and I hoist the mainsail much more readily even on marginal light wind days since itís so much easier

https://leesailcovers.com/mainsail-pack/

I liked it better than Mack because it uses PVC pipe to stiffen the upper edge which I think looks better and makes stowing sail easier, and only needs a 2 tail lazy jack
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Old 07-02-2023, 07:23   #8
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Re: Stack pack/Lazy Jack recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windpilot View Post
Tides track on the mast of your Hunter helps so much as mentioned above, I have a H410.
You'll learn to deal with the lazy Jack's raising the main, they like catching battens,but they hold up the stack pack and hold the main.
The zippering up.... luckily I'm tall, but still stand on the aft pulpit to start the zippering up. Specific to my boat, yours was cc right.
And the the most annoying problem is the bag and sails filling with rainwater, I tried everything, I cover with a long plastic piece now.
I still love the setup, you may not get any of the issues but you wanted to know some.
Does this mean that your stackpack is one piece going under the main sail? Mine is actually 2 sides connected with many webbing straps across the bottom to give the appearance of a single bag but allowing drainage.
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Old 07-02-2023, 10:45   #9
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Re: Stack pack/Lazy Jack recommendation

I’m also deciding on lazy jacks & a sail bag and have a question. Is it better to attach the top of the lazy jacks to the mast or the spreaders? I see most are attached to the mast but a few are on the spreaders. It seems to me that the extra width at the top would help funnel the sail into the bag.
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Old 07-02-2023, 11:36   #10
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Re: Stack pack/Lazy Jack recommendation

We have a Dutchman system on our main. Really like it.

https://dutchmar.com/dutchman-sail-f...ring-dutchman/

Tom
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Old 07-02-2023, 14:34   #11
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Re: Stack pack/Lazy Jack recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_F View Post
We have a Dutchman system on our main. Really like it.



https://dutchmar.com/dutchman-sail-f...ring-dutchman/



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Old 07-02-2023, 20:00   #12
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Re: Stack pack/Lazy Jack recommendation

Having experienced generic "stack packs" (usually having battens on the top edge) on charter catamarans, and not liking the way they flopped around under sail, I specified a traditional sail cover when we bought out current cat. But it was a larger boat, mainsail, and cover than what I had been used to so I did get tired of using the sail cover.

So decided to look into a "stack pack". The Mack Pack seemed a good choice, with not having the top batten, plus that the lazy jacks were not attached to the cover but allowed the cover to slide down the lazy jacks. So I bought one, and thought it was better than sliced bread. But it still bothered me billowing about under sail as I never accomplished rolling it up as one supposedly can do.

So came full circle by returning to a traditional sail cover when the Mack Pack wore out. But these days my sailing is on longer cruises, so sailing time/covering time is a much bigger number!

But if I were to get another stack pack, I'd go with another Mack Pack. Besides they are a nice company to deal with.

For anyone buying a Mack Pack, I have the stainless boom end bracket that I never mounted that I could save you some money on. I secured the back end to the topping lift temporarily, which became permanent.
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Old 08-02-2023, 00:49   #13
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Re: Stack pack/Lazy Jack recommendation

We have a Doyle that's at least 10 years old now and is holding up just fine. I had a vertical zipper go bad and used a local canvas shop repair that portion for little cost, but that's it. I believe Doyle created the stack pack way back in time.
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Old 08-02-2023, 12:58   #14
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Re: Stack pack/Lazy Jack recommendation

You may be able to specify some of the supplies. For longevity, you need acrylic canvas, sewn with PTFE thread, and a flap over the zipper so it does not UV degrade. The PTFE thread is more expensive than the heavy weight dacron, but lasts quite a lot longer, roughly 12-15 yrs., compared to 4-5.

IMO, the acrylic canvas can be "Sunbrella", but any high quality acrylic canvas will do, and any PTFE thread will do, also, not just "Tenara". If you get into sewing these boom bags for yourself, you can try the clear thread, it just doesn't show at all. Sorry, I don't know if there is difference between the colored and the clear for longevity.

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